Tuesday night, Major League Baseball Advanced Media tweeted out there’d be a new version of RBI Baseball for sale in 2014. Immediately, this sounded like amazing news. If you’re of a certain age and grew up on the old Nintendo system — nobody called it NES back then — this is great, unless you preferred Baseball Stars growing up with its ability to edit your own team (which was amazingly advanced by 1990 console game standards). Still, RBI had the real players like Reggie, Darryl and … Candy Maldonado.
What does this announcement actually mean? That’s a little more vague. There’s a website already set up, but it provides little actual information. 2K Sports discontinued it’s baseball game this year, meaning Sony’s MLB: The Show is your only option for video game baseball and it’s a Playstation exclusive. As nostalgic as this sounds tonight, odds are this will be a modern day baseball video game available on all consoles. The game will be distributed by MLBAM, but there’s no word yet on the game developer itself.
Perhaps — if they’re not total fools — they’ll include a port of the original 8-bit classic, which is still fun to play, especially the drinking game out-lined by Ganty at Dee-Nee.com. Or, for around $1.99, who isn’t going to download the 8-bit game if it’s available on a phone or tablet?
Let’s hope that somewhere in this new version of RBI Baseball there’s a place where Vince Coleman has a 100-percent stolen base success rate, Charlie Kerfeld throws a ball about 65 mph and fireworks go off every time you hit a home run at Tengen Stadium. Plus the music. Oh that sweet, sweet music that never stops.
And as crazy as this sounds, RBI Baseball remains one of the most fun baseball games to play even to this day, especially against another human being — “straight pitching” only — as opposed to the computer. (Again, I’ll refer you to the dee-nee site.)
MLBAM made a smart choice reviving the RBI name. Let’s hope the product they deliver lives up to the fond memories the original created over two decades ago. It would be a shame if the revived version is scoffed at like the RBI statistic is nowadays by so many folks who grew up playing the game bearing its name.